Basha storms back in second half to gouge Gilbert

September 24, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

You play on a team that heads to halftime trailing, 13-0.

Not a huge deficit. Maybe not all that much to get shook up about.

But your team only runs 12 plays in the first half. Your team picks up zero first downs. The opposition piles up 261 yards to 22 for your team.

What does your team expect  from the coaching staff at halftime?


"We just threw a little fit," Basha coach Bernie Busken said.

That "little fit" resulted in 38 second-half points and guided the unbeaten Bears to their fourth win of the season, 38-13, over Gilbert High on Friday night to spoil what had the makings of a splendid homecoming for the Tigers.

Basha junior quarterback Kyle Duran tossed four touchdown passes in the second half and certainly didn't wear out his arm doing it. On the second play of the third period, Duran flipped a 5-yard pass to sophomore receiver Nate Phillips, who added 74 yards to the play with some speed and fancy footwork. That cut the halftime deficit to 13-7 just 47 seconds in to the third period. Duran completed 8 of 15 passes for 172 yards. One-hundred sixty -two of those yards came in the second half. About 90 percent of that total was yardage after the catch courtesy of Phillips, Reed and Walker.

The Basha defense, which was on the field about 17 of the 24 minutes in the first half, then forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. On fourth down and the Tigers in punt formation, a low snap and subsequent bobble by the punter left Basha with possession at the Gilbert 7. Duran threw his second TD pass on the next play to receiver/corner back Devin Reed. The extra point put Basha on top for good, 14-13, with less than three minutes gone in the third period.

Gilbert's dominant first half had been  negated before the Tigers knew what hit them in the third quarter.

"The coaches got on us at hafltime and told us to concentrate and do our individual jobs," Reed said. "We didn't do anything different. We just concentrated."

A fumble recovery by Basha on Gilbert's next possession led to a 32-yard Justin Barber field goal to cap the Bears' 17-point third period. A third Tiger turnover - an interception by Reed of Gilbert quarterback Nathaniel Causey - set Basha up at the Gilbert 9. Dejzon Walker's 9-yard catch and run converted that miscue into a touchdown. Phiilips added another score taking a swing pass from Duran and beating the defense around the corner and down the sideline to make it 31-13.

Reed, who was responsible for covering Gilbert wide out Drew Stankiewicz, had a tough time the first half. Stankiewicz caught six passes for 97 yards during that stretch. In the second half , Stankiewicz had one catch --on the second to the last play of the game when the outcome was decided.

"It was all about us focusing the second half," Reed said.